For once I'm not saying this about my family. We have our own issues and our own problems, but Nat and Den their lives just keep getting dumped on. First they can't conceive naturally and have to go through IVF. They finally get pregnant only to lose their baby a month before he was due. They spend the better part of the following year trying to get pregnant. With some major ups and downs through out that year they FINALLY get pregnant only to lose the embryo to a tubal pregnancy. I can't say how much that pisses me off. Their luck is bad and they so want a child so badly. I feel so bad for them and I wish there was something I could say or something I could do to help them out, but we live miles away and really there isn't much we can do even if we weren't.

We are here for the both of them. We love them and think of them often. I really wish there was more I could say or do to help them out but I'm at a loss. They would be excellent parents and I fear for them, I wish them the best, I pray for them. I do what I can but that isnt' much.

Guys we love you, we are here for you.

Had a problem need to test posting again. Sorry for this but it's a necessary evil.

Sam got Bolt for her birthday. We watched it several times Easter Sunday and then the following day. We are back on a Cars marathon.

Cars is still #1 I think. Sam is sitting in front of the TV watching it while Kathleen plays in the tub.

Last night was a busy night for me. Not only did I have to bake a cake, I had a major migraine and a arts and crafts project to do with my little ones - dying easter eggs. Now Samantha wasn't interested, but then I didn't expect her be, she's not overly artsy unlike her sister who loves to color, even at 2 she loved the coloring of eggs, even if she didn't help much she still enjoyed it. Sammi, had no interest when she was told she couldn't play with the cups anymore.

But we had fun coloring eggs in three colors. I had taken my meds and I'd asked Shea to get caffiene and he picked up supper, by the time he and Kitkat got home with Daddy my head was better and I was able to finish the rest of the evening with the eggs and all that follows.

But the one thing I didn't do last night I knew I should have, but we got into Supernatural DVDs and I just didn't feel like it was put the basket together and hide the plastic eggs. Because as per norm Kathleen was up at 6am which was the time I was suppose to wake up. So I did my best to hide the process and she was surprised. I even managed to hide her coloring book with ease.

We had a crisis before leaving for Shea's folks house so we could get to church in time. The girls didn't sit through church well. Samantha had to visit all the men and then she wouldn't sit still. Kathleen would have behaved better if her sister wasn't there I think. We left early and waited for Sunday school to start. They had fun I think, Kathleen had her first trial with playdough, it went fairly well but as suspected Sammi's first thing when she got her hands on it was to eat it it. So we won't be having any at home for a while.

They hid easter eggs and Kitkat had a blast it took Sammi a while for her to understand the concept as she had no interest this morning when we went looking for eggs.

We went to Mam and Pawpaw's house and they enjoyed playing with the dogs and with a new ball for Sammi's birthday. I think the biggest hit was Samantha's Jack in the Box. She got Bolt, two baby dolls, a jack in the box, purse, glasses, and a ball. All of which her sister will probably enjoy more than she will. Sammi has no real interest in anything her sister doesn't already have in her hands with the exception of cars trucks and anything she can push. My girls are such total opposites - one girly and one tom boy at least thats how they are at this early age.

That was the last party, I've come to the realization that Sammi doesn't like fire and to be sang to, she didn't like the cake ritual again. Oh well, maybe next year will be better.

All in all it was a good day but I'm exhausted.

Was directed to a plugin that would do the work for me so here it is. CSS Naked Day at Raising the Herd.

Don't fret tomorrow all the pretties will be back.

We are down to the last birthday party for my youngest. She's had 3 so to speak. We had one on her birthday with just cupcakes and a present. We had one for her and her sister and little cousins and we are having on Easter for Shea's family to lavish their attention on my little flirt lol.

Easter needs to be more about just eggs and candy so I've insisted to Shea that we go to church that Sunday, he doesn't have to go if he doesn't want to but me and the girls will be. It's not a problem as long as they have a normal service. There is no way I can make a sunrise service.

I know they are a bit too young to understand, but it begins traditions early and it enforces the sit still and be quiet rules that they so dearly need.

I am planning a small scavenger hunt consisting of three or four items around the house that Kitkat should be able to identify from some very vivid clues I plan to give her. It will result in them finding some color wonder marker sets and paper that they can then bring to church and not get all messy lol. I plan on hiding plastic eggs as well for them to find when they wake up, and of course easter baskets. We will be dying eggs the day before everyone but me likes hard boiled eggs so they will get eaten and Kitkat will enjoy coloring the eggs at the very least.

I think that after church they will be doing an easter egg hunt for the little ones then too. Not sure if they will at their grandparents house but you never know. We might hide a few for the girls Kitkat does enjoy looking for things and loves eggs.

*edited for testing myspace again*

Well I attempted to fix the bug, now to test to see if I get the errors again.

So here goes. Let's see if it goes through okay.

I finally got my journal to cross post to myspace, twitter and facebook. Only thing I've not gotten is livejournal but I really don't even use that.

So yay, there is one error but hopefully that can get worked out.

I have tried on several occassions to fry chicken, all attempts have been unsuccessful. The coating always falls off, and I mean always, this is not good for fried chicken. So today I am trying again. I will be using Tyler's Ultimate Fried Chicken recipe.

I have my chicken currently in the brine in the fridge. I'll let ya know how it goes when it's done. I am keeping my fingers crossed that it will go well.

Sammi had her 2 year check up today. No real big concerns going in but some concerns coming out. Her paper habit isn't nothing big just have to keep an eye on her, she eats well so it's not a diet thing, that's good to know.

But she supposedly should be saying 2-3 word sentences now. I was worried about not having 50 words wasn't even considering sentences. But after reading some milestone charts online I'm not so overly concerned yet. We will work with her, but I think our biggest disadvantage is that her sister never stops talking so she can't get a word in edge wise and really doesn't care to try her sister speaks for her in most cases, and will even do the pointing some days.

Samantha is a smart kid I think I just don't think she has the chance to shine. I think that is where we need to work more on - giving her the soap box so to speak at times. But its hard to do with Kitkat around since she takes so much enegy to listen to and continue her chatter lol. One good thing that has developed is Shea's folks taking Kitkat on Saturday nights through Sunday afternoon taking her to church. Kitkat gets the other people and kid interaction and Sammi gets some one on one time with Mommy and Daddy. While I think they miss each other at times I think it's good for them too and hopefully the next time we can focus a bit more on Sammi the next weekend we share with her alone.

First big wow, my baby girl will be two on Friday. It's been two years since she was born. And it's been just that long since our house was fully livable and yet it's still not finished. I don't think we'll ever finish putting the little things together - molding, ceiling fans in all the rooms. I'm just glad that both the girls have a decent room and that Kitkat doesn't mind having her room open to the world. I think she prefers it that way right now. Thankfully when we redid the house after Katrina we closed up the play room entrance with partial walls that make the entrance door sized so if we end up staying here we can close in her room and add a door. We specifically remodeled that room for that purpose. Though I don't think we intended to use it as such so soon, but the girls cannot sleep together in the same room. Sammi talks to herself and is a very good sleeper where Kitkat is not.

The second big wow has happened over the past several months. I've become a pretty avid watcher of my high school class and a few other areas and I have just reconnected with some old friends that some I have not talk to much since I left Colorado, most are from high school, but there are a rare few I've found from even elementary school which is awesome. It's really nice to be in contact with old friends and be able to keep up with their lives again. My only regret now from moving away is losing contact with some really great people but thanks to facebook I've found some a means of keeping in contact again. yay!

It's been almost a year (tomorrow will be a year) since Devin passed from this earth with out ever having felt its warmth. I feel for his parents and those who love them. This cannot be a painless thing. Even now thinking about it from such a distance it hurts to know that Den and Nat are in so much pain.

In the advent of the day Devin was born still we had hoped would bring good news to the couple, but their IVF cycle didn't have the desired results. We hurt for you guys too.

We love you. We know it's difficult and we are here, even if we are so very far away.

We are thinking of you Devin and know you will keep watching over your Mom and Dad.

Forever Missing Devin

For once this isn't about my child not sleeping lol. For the past several weeks I've been having a hard to going to sleep and staying asleep.

Last night I didn't go to bed until 11pm. Shea went to be at 8:30 I stayed up trying to get Kathleen to fall asleep. Which she managed to do about 9:30 or so. I attempted to go to bed but before I laid down I realized I really wasn't tired. So I sat down at my computer and proceeded to work on some projects I have been wanting to do. And I finished it at 11pm still not really tired but I knew I need to at least try to go to sleep and I did fall asleep but Samantha woke up about 1am or so and Kathleen followed after that and I dozed until about 3:30 before Shea's alarm would go off at quarter to 4. I got up made Shea's lunch and after he left I only laid back down to get Kathleen to go back to bed as she was trying to sleep in my bed. Which isn't a problem after Shea goes to work so I laid in bed till she was asleep then I got up.

I'm only slightly tired and that's mostly from looking at my computer screen in such dim light. I do not know if this is the start to a bad thing or not, I hope not, but since my body has been getting more and more sleep cause the girls are sleeping better, the more and more I find I can't either go to sleep or I am wide awake. Granted some days I am so drained that even 8am seems way too early to be out of bed.

Jan 27th I had a biopsy done as the result of an abnormal pap. My doctor told it'd be back in a week, and to call him the following Monday as he wouldn't be in on Tuesday. So I followed his isntructions and called on Monday, they took my name, birthday and phone number and told me they'd call back. Since it wasn't suppose to be until the next day I only called that once. I didn't call Tuesday since the doctor wasn't in. But I continued to call Wed-Fri and Friday I called twice.

Today I called and did the same routine but explained that I had been calling for a week and no one had returned my call. When the nurse called me today she said they had to wait for the results to come in, um, why didn't you call me back and tell me that? Of course I didn't say that but it's like what the hell, I called you for results, you'd save your receptionists the trouble of taking my messages if you just told me that. But no you instead choose not to call and tell me this and make me and my family get upset over you not having the results. It nearly caused a fight between Shea and I for that matter. Because I refused to call back a third time on Friday.

Good news is that it came back negative for cancer so that's good news.

Last night I had insomnia so I spent about two hours making my mockup html into this wordpress template. From about 1am to 3am I worked to edit it and make it work in wordpress. Which is about right when I think about how I charge a wordpress theme about 2 hours worth of my time, not including graphic work which generally takes more time than that. Glad to see that my estimation are pretty on still.

I like this one just as much as my original Raising the Herd Theme with the bright sunny blues and greens. I think this one will stay awhile. The background image (from DinPattern was the inspiration for the color theme. The pics are mostly ones Shea took with his film camera. My mother took the one of Sammi alone.

See brown can look good.

7am was the key! Samantha is down for her first nap in days. That and a car ride at nap time seemed to help. We'll see how a 7am wake up call tomorrow works for her.

I've been falling victim to sleepless nights. But really this isn't about me, I survive on what little sleep my body and the girls let me have most days. Samantha on the other hand has not readjusted to her normal routine. We've been out of sorts since Shea was home for Christmas.

Her biggest issue has been sleeping in and thusly not taking a nap and then getting overly cranky at 4pm and that's not nap time. So today I am going to try to readjust her clock. I woke her up at 7am, I will attempt nap time from 11:30 to 1p if that fails then we get up at 6am tomorrow. The only good thing about this is that Shea will be working so my alarm going off at 6am isn't going to bother him. Unless he doesn't work that is.

But Sammi needs her nap or she is just a bear and I don't mean a teddy bear. While she is cuddly at that time she is rather tempermental and bratty like lol. So I hope that I can reset her clock cause it's driving us all batty.

I am an avid RPer at Dragonmount and we've been working on a very long plot line and it's nearing completion. Anyone is welcome to come read it and if you are part of Dragonmount you will be the jury. Come read, follow and join us for the outcome only you can give us!

Murder in the Yards.

It is now 4:30am and my youngest is wide awake. She was wide awake at 3am but I didn't let us get out of bed until Shea had to go to work. So today I am up bright and early with one kid while the other sleeps on the living room floor. Don't be alarmed by that, that is Kathleen's normal sleeping spot lol. She doesn't sleep in a regular place, she either sleeps on the floor in her bean bag, on the couch or in her bed. All of which are fine by me as long as she's not sleeping in my room or in my bed and as long as she sleeps!

For Sammi to be up this early is odd, but once she is awake there is no putting her back to bed. At least not easily and I'm not going to fight it today since she'll likely take a nap early and we MIGHT get her back on schedule again. So yay for one small step to normalcy lol.

Kathleen's sleeping patterns will never be normal, my little insomniac.

My child is bright, my child is very indpendent, but yet I am having hell potty training her. She just plain isn't wanting to go. We have a new potty chair, one for each of the girls. One of the best things about this new chair is it makes noise when she goes potty. I think this is a break through when it comes to Kathleen. Not so much as bells and whistles, but she loves music, I mean LOVES music. So now her potty makes music when she goes to the bathroom. After she got it, she used it 3 times in 20 minuites just to hear its jingle. We've used it several times today with out much instruction from me. I am continually asking her but even I need a timer on that one. I am thinking I need to do a bit more with my potty training app I made for my PC. But it will probably be easier to do it online than with .net since I'm alot more well versed in php than C# lol.

Anyway, she goes potty in the chair, she dumps the bowl in the toilet, she flushes our toilet. The nurse at her doctor appointment told me that she needed to have others to follow, I'm not sure that's incentive enough for Kathleen. She can, she will and I know if we find the right incentive she'll have it down pat, she's smart and stubborn. I just need to find the right incentive for her. The chair was a good incentive, I'm glad I bought it. Now to finish the job.

I bought a 7 dollar ebook that supposedly teaches me to potty train in 3 days. I'll give it a go when this doesn't work but right now I'm trying this method.

We had no bottles for over a week. Sam is doing great, Kat not so well. She still asks for one and she isn't drinking milk except in her cereal, but on the upside she is eating more.

Sammi has taken a turn of no naps which is concerning me because she still needs one but just won't go down. My first trial to get her to nap is to give her a big filling meal at lunch and then put her down. We had gumbo tonight at about 3 and at 4ish she napped. Not a good nap time when she needs to go to sleep tonight.

We will try that before I just let her play herself to sleep in her room. Thankfully she cannot open the doors yet.

Next hurdle with Kitkat is to get her to use the potty consistently. I know she can because she does it every so often. Gonna buy two new potty chairs, simple ones and hope that one for each of them even though Sammi isn't ready will help matters. It's been a challenge with my girl, she's as stubborn as both of us put together.

We no longer go through 4 gallons of milk, next is the pullups to go. Hopefully this will all help us budget everything out better. But first we need consistency.

I love these. My father in law made them and I've made them since then. We add in lemon pepper seasoning as well.

Google Reader (28).

Check out the My Photos page to the right here I've added in a few new pics.

Shea's son was suppose to spend some time with us this holiday. While we did get to see him three times he didn't actually stay with us. I'm slightly disappointed but it's not all that unexpected. I feel bad that they only got to play with the girls for a few hours and more so for the girls, they are going to grow up with their brother being mostly a stranger to them. Life sucks sometimes.

It was good seeing them, and I hope that we'll get to see them and the baby this summer. But we'll have to see how funding goes, money is always tight and I'm hoping to save for it using a tax refund but you never know how much if any you will get. I only pray we will get some otherwise we are going to be in a very tight place come the beginning of this year.

All in all Christmas was good this year. I have only had one major break down, though I don't know how many I had last year or the year before, this year was better though, I don't long to go home like I did last year. Sure I miss my family but this year was better. Kathleen enjoyed Christmas, she understood, opened all hers and sissy's presents and we had a good time.

I resigned to combining Kathleen's birthday with Christmas this year at least partially and I'm okay with it. We had three birthdays for her. One on Christmas day with Shea's family, One on the 28th which was her real birthday party. The four little girls had a good time. And a very small on on her birthday mostly consisting of her brother's present and playing with him, which was nice.

Both of the girls will probably end up having three birthday parties for a while. The biggest reason being that when the little girls all get together they really don't play with each other because there are so many other people around and it's daunting. This small gathering of people which was all the little girls family and Shea's parents was a big hit and for two hours they had alot of fun. It took a bit to get warmed up but not nearly as long as it does when everyone else is around too. It was a good time. Sammi's birthday will probably be the same, except it's never going to be close together as we'll probably do hers with Shea's family on Easter since it's so close. But I really do think it's for the best.

Last year I set out to reach some goals. I didn't quite finalize any of them but I did manage to start most of them.

1. Minimize our debt

We are down two credit cards completely on January 15th. Only one left to pay, and then that will add in about $261 back into our budget.

2. Reach at least 136lbs by July 1. I’m shooting for 125 but not sure if I’ll be able to maintain that with out alot of exercise.

Well I never hit 136. I got down to 140 and have since them crept back up, but I know why and I will be working on that after the holiday/vacation splurge is over again.

3. Maintain at least 1 client per week with Heritage Web Solutions. Hoping to ramp up to three per week but not sure how doable that is.

I stopped working for Heritage in March when we turned off our cable. I have not gone back to them as I'm focusing more on the girls for now.

4. Learn something new, or get better at something I already know. Things on this list are: learning to draw, getting better with photoshop and illustrator graphics, learn flash, get a better handle on ajax.

About midyear I started learning jQuery. I love it. It's the only javascript I currently work on right now. It's very handy with ajax too.

5. Finish some personal projects: DR PSW Basic Database, Creating my own city for a World of Darkness campaign/story to write

I didn't finish any personal projects, started about 20 more as usual. The only real project that I did start and finish was Illuminations. A blog of links for the Illuminators at DM when I find an article that relates to something they would be interested in.

6. Potty Train Kathleen

We started but we are having some major issues. She just won't go, she can and will but not regularly.

7. Start playing with my girls in a more productive way for all of us.
8. Start some sort of exercise program for myself and the girls.

We set up their swing set and we played on it a bit this fall. But neither one of these actually went anywhere. I tried but things just didn't work out that well.

Next year I have more goals to reach.

1. Remove the final credit card from our budget and build my credit to a better score
2. Lose weight. 136 is still my goal, but exercise is going to be needed to reach it and maintain it. Now just to find a way to do this.
3. Learn something new or improve more of what I know - jQuery and AJAX or .net (C# variant)
4. Potty Train Kathleen!
5. Finish at least one personal project.
6. Finish my business website and begin writing weekly on it's blog.
7. Begin a "beginner" programming blog
8. Play daily with my girls with their lincoln logs, tinker toys or building blocks.
9. Color with the girls daily
10. Help Kathleen (and Samantha) learn her ABCs, colors and shapes.
11. Learn how to make yeast rolls

A bit more than last year, but also a bit more specific. We'll see how I do next year.